Dealing with Chinese suppliers is very time consuming. Working with a qualified Buying Office or Purchasing Agent can save you much time, cost and energy etc in China. For example, 90% of the suppliers you met online or at local trade fairs might be a typical trade company while the local sourcing specialists can go to the real manufacturing bases to find out some qualified factories for you in person. Apparently the factory price is much more competitive than that of the trader’s anywhere on the globe, by this way you can save more cost in the business.
The global sourcing of goods and services has advantages and disadvantages that can go beyond low cost. Some advantages of global sourcing, beyond low cost, include: learning how to do business in a potential market, tapping into skills or resources unavailable domestically, developing alternate supplier/vendor sources to stimulate competition, and increasing total supply capacity. Some key disadvantages of global sourcing can include: hidden costs associated with different cultures and time zones, exposure to financial and political risks in countries with (often) emerging economies, increased risk of the loss of intellectual property, and increased monitoring costs relative to domestic supply. For manufactured goods, some key disadvantages include long lead times, the risk of port shutdowns interrupting supply, and the difficulty of monitoring product quality. (With regard to quality in the food industry, see Roth et al.
International procurement organizations (or IPOs) may be an element of the global sourcing strategy for a firm. These procurement organizations take primary responsibility for identifying and developing key suppliers across sourcing categories and help satisfy periodic sourcing requirements of the parent organization. Such setups help provide focus in country-based sourcing efforts. Particularly in the case of large and complex countries, such as China, where a range of sub-markets exist and suppliers span the entire value chain of a product/commodity, such IPOs provide essential on-the-ground information.